Questions without Notice under Standing Order No 7 (Agenda item 7)
Councillor Atterwill asked about previous Agenda and Minutes relating to the former Local Plan Working Group meetings not being available on the website. He felt that these should be re-instated as these were of historical significance and the public should still have the right of access. Also, with regard to the new Local Plan Working Group, he asked if the Minutes from the first meeting held would be published for the benefit of all Members. The Leader stated that he would speak to the Democratic Services Team in respect of the first question; however, as far as the inaugural meeting was concerned he was unsure whether any Minutes had been taken but would ensure that these would be circulated to all Members if indeed any notes were taken.
Councillor Jermy directed his question to the Leader. He was aware that the Leader of Norfolk County Council had written to the Prime Minister with a wish list for Norfolk and asked if the Leader had done the same, and if so, what had he asked for Breckland. The Leader advised that Councillor Proctor, the Leader of Norfolk County Council, had written a wish list for Norfolk to the new Prime Minister; however, from a District perspective, a joint letter had been written via the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP). The letter included a wish list for housing, infrastructure, roads, the skills agenda, access to the wider Cambridge tech corridor and more importantly utility provision across the whole of the County. The letter had been written by the Chairman of NALEP.
Councillor Jermy asked if a copy of the letter could be circulated to all Members accordingly.
Councillor Moreton asked what progress was being made on forming a Climate Change Working Party. Councillor Sherwood advised that at a recent Cabinet meeting it had been agreed that a verbal update on this matter would be provided at every Cabinet meeting in future. He had been working with Officers and many of his Councillor colleagues and would shortly be announcing a programme which would involve Members’ engagement, public engagement and stakeholders’ engagement and he expected that announcement to be made in early February where the full progress of where the Council was at on this matter would be made. Members would be fully briefed.
As a resident of Breckland, Councillor Dowling was concerned about climate crisis too and asked a question about household waste and how this could be made better for the environment. She wanted to know if the Council was considering offering residents the opportunity of having their food waste composted as neighbouring districts did. Councillor Webb advised that food waste was one of the options discussed as part of the new waste contract; however, there was a balance that needed to be made between the introduction of a food waste collections and the effect that additional vehicle movements collecting such waste would have on the environment. The Council had agreed not to include food waste in the new contract but instead was trying to encourage people not to waste food by buying less. The Leader stated that the Council would have had to pay a great deal extra if food waste had been included in the new contract taking into account the current budget position. Breckland Council supported Norfolk County Council in its composting scheme, which was a free initiative, that encouraged residents to reduce waste.